From the Project Coordinator:
Pixel Arts (http://www.gameeducationpdx.com), a not-for-profit association co-founded by K-12 Code Hero School backers Jeffery Sens and Will Lewis, are working with us to run pilot studies of the Code Hero beta with middle school and high school students. The association leverages community collaboration and the engagement of video games to create social transformation, focusing on underserved youth in Portland, Oregon. Pixel Arts brings together resources and guidance, creating a safe space for youth and adults to learn and create in a maker-based hands-on environment.
We have scheduled pilot studies with them starting next week and continuing throughout February. The studies will look at how Code Hero teaches STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. This will help us improve and focus the design and get started on curriculum and materials for educators. If you'd like to be involved in pilot studies and future prototype studies, please let us know!
So I tried to write my own description of what our back end guy is doing, but I’m pretty sure it’ll just be a lot better to paste some blurbs he said to me almost word for word. Any inaccuracies are my own:
We’ve been making a player settings system that will sync settings across computers by storing them on our servers. It's neat because this is a nice feature for the users but it is also going to be nice for the developers. We won't need to worry about creating database columns or adding properties to the right places. We can just start using the player settings as if they always existed and store almost any object we want there.
Saving and downloading levels was a feature that we carried over from the last version of the website and ported. Along with that, though, we are getting a more flexible system that we can build on for curriculum or packages of levels, achievements and more detailed classification of levels so we can build better tools to connect players with levels and programming concepts they might be interested in, as well as bring user-authored levels to the attention of the players.
Some light technical details about porting the web service for those who are interested:
We’re porting the web service over to ASP.NET wich means we had to recreate the MySQL database as an MS SQL database. We then went on to rewrite the data-access, replacing stored procedures with EntityFramework. As we were doing this we were also enhancing the functionality to support some of the new features we are working on in the game.
Right now he’s building the data structure in the database for the settings in the database.
As ever, we continue to make our way through offers of assistance. Thank you for working with us to help Code Hero become a reality.
Thank you to all our supporters and to everyone giving us feedback on the current beta, it’s energizing to hear about your experiences.